Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Feb. 7, 2020
Northwest Zone – Captain Laura Petreikis
In Ogle County, CPO Beltran conducted an investigation of deer hunters in Byron. It was discovered a man from Rockford was hunting without permission and had been doing so for many years. CPO Beltran discovered several unlawfully taken deer and seized meat and antlers. Citations were issued.
In Mercer County, CPO Posateri issued a citation for taking an antlered deer during the antlerless season after the hunter called to turn himself in for the violation. The antlers were seized, and the meat was processed for the local food pantry.
In Bureau County, During a compliance check in Bureau County, CPO Stanbary located a deer hunter at Miller Anderson Nature Preserve who had successfully harvested a deer but failed to tag it. The hunter was back at his vehicle and had already moved the deer from the harvest location without tagging it immediately upon harvest as required. The hunter was issued a citation and non-mandatory Bureau County court date.
In Bureau County, CPOT Swindle and CPO Wagner responded to trapping w/out permission complaint in rural Bureau County. After short investigation CPOT Swindle was able to determine a neighbor was trapping the property. The neighbor admitted knowing he was on the neighbor’s property but didn’t think it was any big deal. A citation for trapping w/out permission and a written warning for trap tagging violation were issued.
In DeKalb County, CPO Murry received a phone call from an individual who had shot a deer with a shotgun, during a weekend that was not a firearm season. The individual called after realizing he had hunted during the wrong season. CPO Murry went to the hunter’s residence who wanted to relinquish the deer if needed, and was ready to accept a citation. After speaking to the individual CPO Murry issued a written warning for the violations and the hunter was allowed to keep the harvested doe.
In Fulton County, CPO Thompson received information about potential night hunting activity near Fairview, IL. CPO Thompson was able to identify the suspects and conducted interviews. Upon interview, the men admitted to unlawfully shining deer with a handheld spotlight from the roadway. Citations were issued.
In Fulton County, CPO Thompson and CPOT McClenning investigated a vehicle parked in a restricted area. CPOs interviewed a man in reference to his vehicle parked in a restricted area. CPOs explained how operating a motor vehicle on the levy system severely deteriotes its functionality and is costly to repair. CPOs showed the man where the parking area is located and the signage designated the area. During the compliance check, CPOs identified some baiting issues near the pit being hunted by the man. CPOs explained the laws pertaining to the violations and issued written warnings.
In Henderson County, CPO Elliott responded to complaint of trespassing in Henderson County. Approximately 40-50 hunters were checked in reference to this complaint. The leader of the group explained he had planned a large coyote drive on a few specific properties but did not explain the boundaries as well as he could have to his participants. Some Violations were identified and addressed while others are pending further investigation.
In McDonough County, CPO Elliott was on patrol near Argyle Lake State Park. After completing a compliance check on a hunter nearly an hour after shooting light, the hunter was found to have a loaded crossbow in the field and after hours and on the roadway. The hunter was addressed with proper enforcement. Additionally, the hunter was not completing his windshield card hunting log as required.
Northeast Zone – Capt. Jed Whitchurch
In Kane County, CPO Siedsma conducted an investigation into the alleged unlawful possession of an American alligator at a local business in the St. Charles area. Several endangered species were also supposed to be on site. CPO’s Winters and Davis assisted in the inspection along with Rob Carmichael from the Lake Forest Wildlife Discovery Center. The inspection resulted in seizure of 2 spotted turtles and an American alligator. The alligator was relayed to an alligator sanctuary in Michigan. Citations were issued for possession of endangered species and written warnings issued for having over the limit of native turtles and possession of an American alligator.
In Kankakee County, CPO Farber received a hunting without permission complaint. CPO Farber responded to the area and observed a waterfowl hunter set up in a field with goose decoys. CPO Farber made contact with the waterfowl hunter and conducted a field interview. After the interview CPO Farber determined that the young waterfowl hunter had obtained permission to hunt from a neighboring landowner. The young goose hunter ended up unintentionally setting up in the wrong field. CPO Farber explained the importance of doing “homework” before hunting and using proper County GIS maps to determine exact locations. A written warning was issued.
In Cook County, CPO Kusta received a call regarding a raccoon stuck in a grate in Aurora. Upon CPO Kusta’s arrival, he observed the raccoon stuck in a storm drain. The raccoon’s body was halfway out of the drain and the other half stuck inside. The visibly healthy raccoon was struggling to free his midsection from the drains grasp. CPO Kusta with the assistance of a concerned citizen was able to pull the raccoon to safety and free him in a nearby park.
In Cook County, CPO Kusta received a call regarding a deer lingering in the backyards of a residential neighborhood in DuPage County. CPO Kusta arrived and observed the doe in the backyard of the caller. The doe appeared healthy and uninjured. CPO Kusta advised the homeowner to not feed the deer and eventually the deer will move along. CPO Kusta advised the homeowner if he has anymore concerns to not hesitate to call IDNR.
In Cook County, CPO Kusta was conducting sport fishing enforcement along a south Chicago River. CPO Kusta observed several yellow perch in a parked vehicle. CPO Kusta observed the fisherman/owner of the vehicle returning to his vehicle with a bag of yellow perch. CPO Kusta counted 14 yellow perch in the bag upon the fisherman returning to his vehicle. CPO Kusta conducted a search of the vehicle with the owners consent. CPO Kusta located a backpack containing 2 more bags of yellow perch. The fisherman admitted to catching all the fish. CPO Kusta conducted a count of the fish in the fisherman’s possession. CPO Kusta counted 44 yellow perch, the daily limit is 15. CPO Kusta took enforcement action and seized all 44 yellow perch.
Central Zone – Capts. Laura Petreikis and Jed Whitchurch
In Brown County, CPO Blakeley located a nonresident deer hunter in the field with a loaded crossbow after legal hours. Upon further inspection two loaded handguns were located in the subjects vehicle. The hunter was also without a case to transport the crossbow legally.
In Hancock County, CPO Wheatley followed up on information he received from an undisclosed source regarding a Dallas City man killing a 6-point buck without a valid deer permit in October of 2019. CPO Wheatley met with the man and conducted an interview. Based off the man’s story concerning the deer hunt, CPO Wheatley was able to see the time line of events did not add up regarding the prior intel received that lead to the encounter. CPO Wheatley asked the man if he was sure he had a permit prior to harvesting the deer. The man responded that he thought he did, but based on what CPO Wheatley presented, he must have been mistaken. CPO Wheatley issued him a citation for hunting without a permit and a written warning for not having a permit in possession.
In Macoupin County, CPO Gushleff cited a subject who dumped a deer on a country road in the ditch. The farmer who owned the property called CPO Gushleff to inform him of the dumped deer carcass. The farmer told CPO Gushleff that the subject left his tag on the deer. CPO Gushleff then began to investigate the incident, and found out it was the son of the person on the tag who actually dumped the deer. He was cited for Illegal Dumping of Wildlife and informed of the legal procedure of disposing of wildlife carcasses.
In Pike County, CPO Blazinic closed a case in Pike County concerning a feral pig infestation. An individual was cited for allowing a feral pig population to propagate due to substandard fencing. The individual was issued a citation, served 6 days in the pike county jail and paid several thousand dollars in fines.
In Cass County, While on patrol at Jim Edgar Panther Creek, CPO Wahlbrink issued a man a written warning for failing to obtain a habitat stamp prior to archery deer hunting. Another man was issued a written warning for failing to obtain a windshield card prior to archery deer hunting.
In Cass County, CPO Wahlbrink issued a man a citation for having an uncased air rifle in his vehicle and written warnings for operating a vehicle with expired registration and failing to display his windshield card while hunting at Jim Edgar Panther Creek.
South Zone – Capt. Jim Mayes
In Clinton County, During the controlled pheasant hunt in Eldon Hazlet State Park near Carlyle lake, a hunter was out with several friends on a hunt. There are several very well marked areas where shooting is allowed and areas where it is not, hunters are encouraged to stay well within these boundaries when hunting. This particular hunter decided to hunt the edges of the legal hunt area and shot at a bird. He missed and his shot carried a long way and hit the wall and windows of a general store. The manager called CPO Macias and he arrived to find damage to the exterior of the doorway and several shot BB’s in the floor of the enterance of the store. The shot was collected and contact was made with the hunter. He admitted to shooting in the direction of the store but not thinking the shot would reach in case of a miss. The store was across a roadway so a citation for shooting across a roadway was issued to the hunter.
In St. Clair County, CPO Schachner received a complaint in Jan 2017 of excessively late shooting of geese (essentially after dark) which continued to occur sporadically since the original complaint. Due to the roost location and the infrequent occurrence, CPO Schachner worked the complaint about 25 times before finally catching the goose poachers in the act. During several years of working the case, CPO Schachner developed suspects; observed/collected evidence and learned they were also hunting without permission. Upon being caught, the poachers were cited for shooting 21 minutes after hours, possession of lead shot and for shooting 38 minutes after hours in 2019. In addition one subject received two citations for illegally shooting/possessing a large buck and falsifying the harvest record. Two shotguns were seized, a Canada goose was seized and a large mounted 9pt buck was seized. The poachers were warned for failure to possess license and stamps, unplugged shotgun, hunting without permission (multiple occasions), criminal trespass and no hunting license in 2018. They were not cited for hunting without permission as the property recently changed ownership.